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Afridi to Zardari: save Pakistan cricket

Press Trust Of India
Jun 02, 2011 at 09:11am IST

Karachi: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi on Wednesday said he would appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari to look into matters related to the PCB and save the sport from the Ijaz Butt-led board.

Zardari is the chief patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

"I would appeal to the President that cricket is an important thing in Pakistan and he should give it time. He should see how the board is being run by Ijaz Butt," Afridi said.

Afridi to Zardari: save Pakistan cricket

Shahid Afridi said he would appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari to look into matters related to the PCB.

The 31-year-old all-rounder, dumped as one-day captain following a dispute with coach Waqar Younis last month, quit international cricket in protest at the treatment meted out to him by the PCB.

In response, the PCB suspended his central contract and revoked all his no-objection certificates, thus putting to rest his hopes of playing for Hampshire in England's Twenty20 league and in next month's Sri Lankan Premier League.

While the sudden retirement didn't go down well with PCB mandarins, Afridi has been receiving support from various quarters.

Former captain Imran Khan, who now heads his own opposition party, said the PCB was not run professionally.

"The board is not run like an institution. Afridi feels injustice is done so he has taken a decision and you don't change four-five captains in a year," Imran told a television channel.

"Just recently everyone was praising Afridi after he led Pakistan to the semi-final of the World Cup and then suddenly this happened. The board is also run on ad-hoc basis like the country," Imran added.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which belongs to the coalition government headed by Zardari's Pakistan People's Party, also objected to the sanctions on Afridi.

"President Zardari should take notice of the biased attitude of the board," said MQM leader Farooq Sattar.

"You don't treat national heroes like this."

Sports Minister Shaukatullah Khan lashed out at PCB chairman Butt over the "injustice" and said he would discuss the matter with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, who heads the sports committee in the upper house of parliament, demanded Butt's sacking.

"A change in the PCB is imperative. Butt has not allowed any captain to settle down so it will be better to sack him," said Qureshi.

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